Tyranid Hive Tyrant and Swarmlord Tactics for WH40k 8th Ed

Warhammer 40000 Tyranid Hive Tyrans and Tyrant Guard

The hive Tyrant is the Classic Tyranid HQ choice, and for good reason too. It is a monstrous creature, with great assault and shooting skill. The Tyrant is a synapse creature and in more resent incarnations, can fly too!

In later rule changes in the 5th edition of the rules the Tyranid Hive Tyranid was seen as such a threat that a ‘shoot the big ones’ was added where shooty armies could shoot at the Synapse Creatures even if they where hiding behind other units.In the 8th edition this has changed so that you can shoot at Characters with 10+ wounds even if they are not the closest visible model. At least the Tyranids are now playing on an even playing field with the other armies with Monstrous HQ units (Daemon Princes & etc).

Different Hive Tyrant Roles

The Tyranid Hive Tyrant can fulfil different roles in your army mainly depending on how it is configured.

Because of the flexible nature of the Hive Tyrant, you may wish to magnetise the arms and weapons. If your Hive Tyrant is pre-built, do not worry. There is no such thing as a bad Hive Tyrant. Just adapt your play style to the model you have.

Wings or no wings?

Wings add speed to your Hive Tyrant. This means that you will be able to use it’s many skills over a greater area. Wings however come at a big point cost! So are they worth the cost?

Tyranid Hive Tyrant Psychic Powers

The Tyranid Hive Tyrant is a psyker, and a powerful one at that. Casting two psychic power on your turn and dispelling one in the opponents psychic phase, this creature does make sparks fly!

Tyranid Swarmlord Tactics

When a standard Tyranid Hive Tyrant  just isn’t big enough, then you can call on the Tyranid Swarmlord.  These have wings as standard!


Tyranid Carnifex, Screamer Killer, and Thorneback Tactics in WH40k 8th ed

Warhammer 40000 Tyranid Carnifex Generations

How to use the Tyranid Carnifex to maximum efficiency in a Warhammer 40000 8th edition game!

“It was horrible! Over the hill crest this lumbering giant of a creature appeared. It had four massive talons and the thickest bone armour. I wanted to get a pot shot of it but the smaller creatures where reaching the lines and threatening to rip our heads off. Just then Captain Barrak appeared in the Leman Russ Invincible. Invincible fired it’s Lascannon at the hulking creature and missed, then the battle cannon roared. That hit knocking the creature to the ground but the creature just got up again. We thought it was dead when it let out this terrible scream. Not so. The scream was the creature bringing up a phlegm like ball of plasma which it hurled at us on the front line. I was lucky and the plasma ball hit further down the line. Burning though cloth and armour with equal ease the poor souls that it hit where burn alive. Sentencing a disruption in the line the hulking creature then raced for Invincible at a pace that defied gravity. Leaping in the air it through itself on to Invincible. At the same time the mighty talons ripped though the tanks armour like a hot knife through butter. Invincible’s armour gave a metallic screech as it twisted and contorted under the creatures massive strength. Then as a last cry of defiance invincible exploded killing the Captain and creature in one nightmare fireball.”

The Tyranid Carnifex is one of the Iconic models in the Tyranid army. You can have three per brood, but watch the points!.

The Tyranid Carnifex and the Hive Mind

The Carnifex is subject to Instinctive Behaviour. This is less if an issue than it was.

The Tyranid Carnifex Leadership is not particularly high at Ld6. The main use of Leadership is to see if any models run off in the moral phase. One tactic here is to place the Tyranid Carnifex in front of your Tyranid Hive Tyrant. This gives the Tyranid Hive Tyrant some solid cover, and it allows you have a solid core for your Tyranid army that you can surround with your smaller Tyranid creatures.

Tyranid Carnifex Special Rules

The Tyranid Carnifex comes with a few special rules. They are easy to handle, but worth knowing that they are there!

Monstrous Brood

Different generations of Carnifex models side by side. See how she has grown!

You can have up to 3 Carnifex in a brood as one unit choice. Although Carnifex Brood models need to start near the other Carnifex of that brood they seem to get bored of each other quickly and can wander off in different directions in the first movement phase.

The reason you may want a brood of Carnifexes is to reduce the number of unit slots used in your Detachments. This only matters in really large games or ones where you are restricted to the number and types of Detachments available.

Carnifex split up at the start of your first turn. This means that if your opponent gets first turn they will have to kill all the models of rhe brood to get first blood. After your first turn only one Carnifex to get first blood!

Living Battering Ram

If a Carnifex gets to charge in to assault then it does a whole ball of damage! First as you charged in you should get to strike first. Second, you get to inflict a mortal wound on a 4+. Thirdly you get +1 to your hits that round so only a 3+ needed.

This special rule means that Close Combat only Carnifex are back in the running. This is specially true if you are Hive Fleet Kracken.

Tyranid Carnifex Strength and Weapons

The Carnifex has a number of weapon choices that you can choose from. What weapon choices you take will depend on the opponent that you are facing. The three popular configurations ( in no particular order) are close combat specialists, heavy weapons platforms, or close support fire platforms with some close combat ability.

Scything Talons

The default weapons on the Carnifex is two sets of Scything Talons. These are close combat weapons, so if you stay with the basic options you will need to make sure that your Carnifex will get in to close combat range on a regular basis, and early enough in the game to be worth the points.

The Scything talons cause 3 damage and can re-roll hit rolls of 1. With this weapon you will want to target models with more than one wound. Tanks are the traditional targets for Carnifexes, but characters make a good target (meal) too.

If you have two sets of scything talons you get an extra attack. This makes having two scything talons very popular. This is so popular that we have a special unit entry in the Tyranid Codex, the Screamer Killer!

Monstrous Crushing Claws

The Crushing Claws upgrade gives you more bite in your close combat attacks. the downside is that they hit less often.  As this is a close combat upgrade, it’s value is determined by the number of times that you get in to close combat.


The Deathspitter is similar to the Deathspitter that the smaller Tyranid creatures get, however the Carnifex gets twin-linked Deathspitters. This is just as well as the Carnifex’s BS3 score means that you will only hit 50% of the time. The re-roll will mean that instead of expecting 1.5 hits per turn you can expect 2.25 hits ( ie about 2 per turn and 3 hits about every 4 turns you shoot).

If you take two sets of Deathspiters then this rate of hits will double, but you loose your close combat weapons.

The strength and AP of a Deathspitter is not over awesome either. Basically they are 18″ heavy bolters. The usual opinion is – don’t bother!

Adrenal Glands

Adrenal Glands allows the Carnifex to move an extra inch when it advances or charges. This does not sound much, but these extra inches do add up. .

Note: that you can still only declare a charge 12″ away from your target even though, with a good dice roll, you can get a 13″ charge in.

You can not advance and shoot heavy weapons. If you are configuring your Carnifex to be a heavy weapons platform with two Monstrous Bio-Weapons, then you will want to avoid this upgrade. If you are going for a close combat only Carnifex then this upgrade is a must!

Toxin Sacs

Toxin Sacs allows you to have a 1 in 6 chance of causing one additional damage if you wound on a 6+ in the Fight Phase.  This means that shooting weapons do not benefit from this upgrade, so heavy weapon Carnifex can forget about it! As for close combat ‘Fexes then have a think about what targets you are planning on tackling. If you are taking on one or 2 wound targets, or even characters then an additional wound will be very little bonus. It’s only when you are expecting to take on a few Monstrous Creatures or Tanks that the upgrade may start to pay for it’s self. On this whole it’s not likely to pay for it’s self.

Tyranid Carnifex Screamer Killer Tactics

New in the 2017 Codex is a new breed of Carnifex – The Screamer Killer!

Gramps is back! When I say that the Screamer killer is a new unit, rally it is a throw back to the original metal Carnifex. The original Carnifex had 2 pairs of monstrous scything talons and had a screaming vomit shooting attack.

The Screamer killer has two forms of attack, the Monstrous Scything Talons and the Bio-plasmic Scream. This combination means that it makes a great close support creature.

Tyranid Thorneback Tactics

Tyranid Thornbacks are a specialist Carnifex found at Forge World. At forge world they are called Stone Crusher Carnifex and come with Crusher Claws. Another option would be to create your own Thorneback with a bit of modelling.

Thornebacks are designed to be close combat troops, however you can upgrade then to have shooting weapons too. The value of upgrading is questionable. Shooting weapons are assault weapons so you can be used between assaults. In my mind though, if you want a multi-purpose Carnifex ( and these can be very effective) I would suggest going for a basic Carnifex with close combat and assault weapons.

Stonecrusher Carnifex Tactics

The Stone Crusher Carnifex is a Forge World model and has rules for WH40k 8th edition printed in the Forge Worlds Imperial Armour Index: Xenos.

The Stonecrusher Carnifex is a close combat specialist. It can be upgraded to have Bio-plasma (12″ Assauld D3, S7). The Bio-plasma can be useful to soften up troop as you charge in or as a over watch weapon if some on charges you, otherwise you only need to focus on the charge and fight phase with this one!

As the Stonecrusher Carnifex is such a close combat specialist you will need to get it (her?) in to combat as soon as possible. With this in mind you may want to team the Stonecrusher with a Tyrannocyte to get it in to the thick of combat fast!

Tyranid Old One Eye Tactics

So you want a Carnifex HQ character? No problem! Here comes Old One Eye…


Incoming… Tyranid Codex is here! – New for Warhammer 40k 8th Edition.

Warhammer 40000 Tyranid Trygon

Games Workshop are certainly pumping out the Codex releases this year, and the next one is the Tyranid Codex!

As regular readers of his site the Tyranids are one of my favourite armies and there has been no secrete about my excitement at seeing the ‘Nids coming back in from the cold as far as rule updates are concerned. I have to say that the last few Codex let the Tyranids down.

The Warhammer Community site had been releasing sneak previews of the Tyranid Codex best bits, and now it’s been released, and it is fantastic!

Tyranids have been slumbering on the GW shelves for many years because of the weak codex releases. The last really good Tyranid Codex  was for the 3rd edition of Warhammer 40000. In that release you could virtually make your own Tyranid strains by mixing and matching bio upgrades.

The format of the Tyranid Codex follows the format of the WH40k 8th edition Codexes released so far. Kinks from the Index: rule books have been straightened out, new mission objectives have been created, plus other nice bits like command abilities and special upgrades.

What I really like is the addition of special rules for four different Hive Fleet types. Each of these Hive Fleets have unique special rules. This means that you can play Nid’s with different ‘flavours’. It just makes gaming more interesting. As all the models appear in all the different branches you can pick and chose with set of special rules you want to use before the game begins.

I highly recommend this release of the Tyranid Codex weather you are a new Tyranid player or a veteran.


Tyranid Tactics for Warhammer 40K 8th Ed

If you have ever wanted to side with the alien in the ‘Alien’ film series, or you just like the thought of playing giant monsters rampaging across the gaming table, eating everything in sight, then the Tyranid army is for you!

Now that the Tyranids has a full Codex for 8th edition they are a real force to be reckoned with!

General Tyranid Tactics

A Tyranid Genestealer. Genetically designed to be the perfect killing machine!

Tyranids are, on the whole, a close combat army. The sooner you get your Tyranids in to assault the better. There are exceptions to this rule. Some larger creatures have shooting weapons as well as close combat weapons, and some are dedicated artillery, but on the whole these are support creatures to your main assault.

While you are rampaging across the table you will be on the receiving end of a lot of gun fire. Do your best to start the game as close to the enemy as possible. Also do your best to hug and cover. This will help to get as many of your Tyranids in to the fight as possible.

The exception of the assault-assault-assault stratagem is the Hive Fleet Kronos Adaptation that get an advantage from standing and shooting.

Tyranid Abilities

There are a couple of general rules that cover all, or just about all of the Tyranid units. One is Instinctive Behaviour’ and the other is the ‘Hive Mind’. As it happens these two abilities are linked.

Instinctive Behaviour

Tyranids work better when they are psychically linked to the hive mind. If they are not linked then they revert to basic animal instinctive behaviour. Basically this means that creatures that are affected by instinctive behaviour (most of them) can only shoot at the nearest viable enemy unit, and when they charge they can only charge the nearest visible enemy unit too. It does mean that you can move and advance normally.

Synapse Creatures

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Zoanthrope BroodSynapse Creatures are Tyranid are the leader creatures connect the lesser Tyranids ( those with instinctive behaviour) with the greater Hive Mind. The range of this connection is limited to 12″ from the Synapse creature! Note that some Tyranids, like the Hive Tyrant, have a special rule that extends this to 18″.

As the Synapse effect radiates in all directions from the Synapse Creature. This means that it is most useful in the centre of the table.

Tyranid Stratagems

The Tyranid Codex lists a number of Stratagems for Tyranid armies. These Stratagems, used at the right time can be very useful. Several of these Stratagems allow units a second move, round of shooting phase and extra attacks in the fight phase.

To make the most of all the stratagems you need command points that come from fielding battleforged armies. The good news is that  with the Tyranid army it is easy to have several formations, and therfeore loads of points!

There are so many possible stratagems that you will want a list of them to hand. A book mark in the Tyranid Codex would work, but the Datacards make this much easier.

Tyranid Tactical Objectives

If your army has a Tyranid Warlord then you can use the alturnative Tactical Objectives found on page 128 of the Tyranid Codex.

The Tyranid Tactical Objectives replace the first 6 tactical objectives in the rulebook. As these objectives are tweeked for the Tyranids style of play, I highly recommend using them whenever you can.

Flipping between diffent rulebooks keeping track of your objectives can be a chore. If you play Tranids frequently I highly reccomend getting the Tyranid Data cards. These are packs of playing sized cards with frequently used infomation like the Tyranid specific objectives.

Hive Fleet Adaptations

Not all Hive Fleets are the same. As the Great Devourer adapts different Hive Fleets are exhibiting adaptations are created. In game terms the adaptations place the Tyranids on an even footing with the other main armies that have different regiments, chapters, war bands, or craft worlds. The six named Hive Fleets are Behemoth; Kraken; Leviathan; Gorgon; Jormungandr; Hydra; and Kronos.

Each of the Hive Fleet adaptations have a unique special rule. You can find these special rules on page 117. These special rules cost no points so there’s no reason not to opt for one of them.

House Rules: You can make up your own Hive Fleet Adaptation, with it’s own special rule. You will need to get your permission to use this Hive Fleet / Special rule, but if it is fair and you back it up with an interesting back story, most reasonable players will go along with it.

Tyranids vs Tanks

Warhammer 40k Space Marine Landraider CrusaderAfter playing a few games one issue that crops up is how to handle Tanks. The issue is that they have a good armour save and plenty of wounds. This combination is tough for the Tyranid shooting weapon arsenal. Also unlike most monstrous creatures, they can hang around the rear of the table away from your advancing troops. Shooting long range heavy Weapons they can takeout your Monstrous Creatures in one round.

To solve this issue you will need to drop units behind the enemy lines, get up close and personal, and your claws on those pesky vehicles!

The Tyranid army has a few options when it comes deep striking units. Raveners, Trygons, and Ripper Swarms can burrow up through the ground. Other options are to drop a unit in a Tyrannocyte, or have a unit pop up out of a Trygon hole. As tank hunting is the name of the game, you will want to get a Monstrous Crature in on the act. If you upgrade your creature will adrenal glands, there is a 30% chance that you can get into assault on the turn they arrive. Dropping several units in at the same time will greatly increase your chances of success! But watch the points cost. Dropping several Monstrous Creatures in will eat up points. Don’t leave your front line too thin.

When choosing a Hive Fleet I usually go for Hive Fleet Behemoth. Behemoth allows you to re-roll charge rolls. If you are aiming for a first turn assault this is very useful.

Tyranid Psychic Powers

Many of the Tyranid Synapse Creatures are also Psykers. Because Tyranids use psychic powers (after a fashion) to maintain their Hive Mind links some of these Synapse Creatures are powerful psykers. These psykers can use the standard Smite psychic power and usually one or more of the special Tyranid powers listed in the Codex Tyranids.


This psychic power allows you to extend the Hive Mind to a single unit 36″ away from the Psyker / Hive Mind. 36″ is a fair range and can be used to surprise your opponent who thinks that that a unit will be subject to instinctive behaviour, but then is not!


Expecting a lot of incoming heavy weapons fire? if you are ten this gives your units a 1 in 3 chance to shrug off each wound. Most useful on monstrous HQ creatures. This is because your bigger HQ units can not hide behind other units like your none-monstrous enemy HQ units can.

The Horror

The Horror is on of the 3 Psychic that damage the enemy rather that pimping up your troops. If this power goes off you can force an enemy unit in 24″ to have a -1 modifier to their hit and leadership rolls. The normal targets for this power are heavy weapons squads of tanks with lots of guns.


Onslaught is a psychic power with a power level of 6 and allows a near by unit to Advance (run), and move and still fire at full ballistic skill and still assault in the assault phase. Used correctly this will get a unit that is usually slow right in to your enemies face. Carnifex and Hive Tyrants with both shooting and combat weapon are choice units.


Paroxysm effectively slows target enemy units down in the fight phase. This is a great power to have if you are fighting an enemy that is even faster than you are. Some Eldar and Slannesh units come to mind. Very fast units often rely on their speed, so robbing them of their strike first rule is usually devastating!

Psychic Scream

This is partly a Psyker neutraliser. However it works well as a Smite clone. As a clone it means that you can Smite twice in a psychic phase for those units that can cast two powers in a psychic phase.

Tyranid Bio-Artifacts

Bio-Artifacts are more freebies you can have if you have a Tranid general and the Tryanid codex. As these have no points cost it is highly recommended that you take one.

Tyranid HQ Unit Tactics

With most armies HQ units add nice to have combat and command skills, but the army will function without them. With the Tyranid army the HQ units are where you will find most of the Synapse Creatures that keep the army together.

Tyranid Old One Eye

Warhammer 40k Tyranid CarnifexOld One Eye is a classic Tyranid Character. The first Tyranid Carnifex with regeneration that seems to have spawned an untold numbers of Carnifex that also have regeneration!

Old one Eye is a HQ choice, however he is not a Synapse Creature. This means that I would not recommend using him (her?) as your main HQ choice, keep him in mind as a secondary HQ choice though!

Old One Eye is a plod along Tyranid with a 7″ move. You will need to give Old One Eye cover as he approaches the enemy,or better still, place him near an objective where the enemy comes to you.

Tyranid Genestealer Broodlord Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Genesteales

Classic Tryanid Genestealer Broodlord and ‘Stealer Brood

Instead of having a monstrous leader for your army, there is an option to take a Tyranid Genestealer Broodlord as your HQ. This is better option for smaller games or if you fancy playing a swarm army that consists purely of smaller Tyranids.

Genestealer Broodlords have really been given a boost in the 8th edition of WH40k. They are fast, they have sharp claws, they are psykers with Synapse, and they boost the Genestealers around they with a +1 to hit in the fight phase.

Broodlords do not have any shooting weapons. This means that you need to get them in to assault as soon as possible. Broodlords can not deep strike so you will need to run across the table, or get the enemy to come to you!

Tyranid Prime Tactics

Warhammer 4000 Tyranid Hive TyrantThe Tyranid Prime is an oversized Tyranid Warrior. This is another possible choice if you want to keeps the points cost down.

Games Workshop doesn’t do a Tyranid Prime model so if you want one you will have to model one yourself. You could take a Tyranid Warrior and beef it up, or paint it so the Prime stands out from other warriors. What I did was to take an unused Mk1 Tyranid Hive Tyrant that is a touch larger that the Warriors and used that as a Prime.

Tyranid Tervigon Tactics

Tyranid Tervigons are the Mother of all Tyranids, or at least Tyranid Termagants! This is a monstrous creature and not bad in a fight, however its (her?) main strength is that it can create 4 new Termagants each turn. This means that as long as the Tervigon is alive your army keeps growing!

The best way to use the Tervigon is to keep it behind the front line as long as possible and spawn off as many Termagants as possible. If your back line gets pressed then it can jump in to the fight.

Tyranid Troop Unit Tactics

An army with HQ Units only will be over run by more flexible armies with a good mix of HQ, Troop, Fast, and Heavy Support units. The backbone of any decent army is their Troop Units.

Tyranid Warrior Tactics

Classinc Tyranid Warrior with Spine Fist, Bone Sword, and Rendering Claws

Classinc Tyranid Warrior with Spine Fist, Bone Sword, and Rendering Claws

Tyranid Warriors are another very adaptable unit in the Tyranid Army. They are Synapses creatures (but not psychic), one in 3 models can have heavy weapons and close combat weapons, other models can have assault weapons and close combat weapons or 2 close combat weapons!

Tyranid Warriors are not full psykers and cannot cast psychic powers in the psychic phase. Tyranid Warriors can, however, act as Synaptic nodes and keep the smaller creatures in order. With this in mind you will want to form your units in a bubble with the Tyranid Warriors in the middle. The down side is that the value of Synaptic creatures is well known and your Warriors will be hot targets. They are not characters so they will not have any natural cover. Also Warriors do not get any kind of invulnerable save, so one good round of bolter shots will knock them off the table.

Tyranid Warrior Devourers

With an 18″ range and A3 at S4, the devourer is a decent assault weapon. This is specially true if you are using the Warrior in the usual support role supporting the smaller Tyranids as they approach the enemy.

Tyranid Genestealer Tactics

A Tyranid Genestealer. Genetically designed to be the perfect killing machine!

Genestealers are pure close combat creatures. They have no shooting weapons so get them into assault as soon as possible!

If you are playing a point matched game you will want to see which upgrades inflict the greatest damage to your enemy. This will be much easier to calculate if you know who your enemy is! Before the game and preferably before you write up your army list find out which army you will be facing. If you cannot do this write out an army list for each likely enemy and pull out the optimised list as you set-up.

Tyranid Termagant Tactics

Termagants are the rank and file troops of the Tyranid army. They have a number of weapon options, but most of these are short ranged. You will need to get close to the enemy or set up an ambush for the Termagants to be effective.

Termagants are notoriously susceptible to instinctive behaviour. It is highly recommended that you keep a synaptic creature close to hand!

  • Devourer: 18“, A3, S4. This is the basic Space Marine killer. Works well on Orks and other hords too. The multiple shots and half decent range make this the new go to  weapon for Termagants.
  • Fleshborer: 12“, A1, S4. This use to be the basic Termagant weapon but with less shots and a shorter range than the Devourer, you would only choose this weapon if you had to or you needed to cut the points cost.
  • Spike Rifle: 18“,A1, S3. This use to have some armour penetration, but now it’s just another 18″ single shot weapon.
  • Spinefists: 12″, Pistol, A3. The go to weapon if you want the cheapest Termagant weapon. Because Spinefists are pistol weapons you can shoot with them in the shooting phase even if you are in the middle of an assault.
  • Strangleweb: 8“, A D3, S2: Strength 2?, why bother?

Termagant Abilities: ‘Hail of Living Ammunition’

If you have a unit of 20+ models you can re-roll 1’s when shooting. This means that you don’t get a bonus when in assault.

Tyranid Hormagaunt Tactics

Hormagaunts are the faster close combat specialist troop units. With a 8″ move and a 6″ pile in and consolidation move.

As Hormagaunts are close combat specialists you will want to get them in to assault as soon as possible. There aren’t many weapon options with a Hormagaunt. The Scything talons are your lot! Scything talons do give you 2 attacks per model and a re-roll when you roll 1 to hit. However with S3 you will be advised to target infantry units.

Tyranid Ripper Swarm Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid ripper swalm The often overlooked troop choice of the Tyranid army has many uses and are still very cheap in terms of points, and may be even in cash if you can find them second hand!

Deep Strike / Burrowing

Ripper Swarms can deep strike on to the gaming table as the Rippers are so cheap you can drop them in / pop them up, where ever they will cause the most disruption.

As Ripper swarms pop up 9″ or more away from enemy units at the end of the movement phase. This is too far away for the Rippers Spine Maw to hit anything useful, but you may be in assault range.

The Fly-paper Manoeuvre

How do you stop units assaulting your key units? One way is to place a disposable unit between the enemy and your expensive units!

Capture Objectives

Ripper Swarms have the swarm keyword (no surprise!) however swarms can capture objectives again so let’s do it! Using the Ripper Swarm’s deep strike ability you can pop up and snatch objects. This is even better if you are playing ‘Maelstrom of War’ missions where you get points mid-game for holding tactical objects.

Tyranid Elite Unit Tactics

Elite units are the specialist units of an army. The Tyranid army is no different. Be careful though, Elite units can cost a lot of points. If you have too many elite units then you will find yourself out numbered on the battlefield.

Tyranid Tyrant Guard Tactics

The Tyrant Guard are designed to be body guards for foot slogging Tyranid Hive Tyrants.

Shield Wall

This ability is the core of the units purpose. If one of the Tyrant Guard are within 3 of a Hive Tyrant when the Tyrant looses a wound then on a roll of a 2+ on a D6 the Tyrant Guard take the wound instead. As each Tyrant Guard have 3 wounds, a unit of 3 will give the Hive Tyrant an extra 9 wounds!

Blind Rampage

You may think that loosing your ward would be a problem, but not with the Tyrant Guard. Apart from the fact that they are subject to Instinctive Behaviour they do not suffer any ill effects. Instead the Tyrant Guard go on a rampage and get an extra close combat attack for each model.

Tyrant Guard Weapons

Tyrant Guard come with Scything Talons and Rendering Claws. This is the standard configuration of the current Tyrant Guard. The plastic Guard do offer some modelling options where you can swap the scything talons with other weapons. If you are getting your Tyrant Guard in to combat regularly then you may find upgrading to the Crushing Claws worth while.

Tyranid Hive Guard Tactics

Based on the Tyranid Tyrant Guard, and sometimes confused with the Tyranid Tyrant Guard is the Tyranid Hive Guard.

Hive Guard are heavy support artillery placed in the Elite section because there are loads of Heavy Support units in the Tyranid Army already! They are armed with either a 36″ Impaler Cannon or a 24″ Shockcannon. Of the two weapons the Impaler Cannon is the one associated with the Hive Guard.

Tyranid Hive Guard Impaler Cannon

It’s not just Tau that can fire missiles around corners! The Impaler Cannon can target any unit in 36″. Line of sight is not needed.. Also the distance is measured as a direct line, not the path the Impaler would travel to reach the target!

  • Note : Need to check if units in bunkers or vehicles can be targeted.

The Impaler Cannon is a heavy weapon. This means that your BS will be knocked down one point if you move and fire in the same turn. Where possible place your Hive Guard in a safe place with a few target options to get the best out of them.

Tyranid Hive Guard Shockcannon

The Hive Guard Shockcannon is an Assault anti-tank weapon. If having D3 S7 shots where not enough, this weapon causes a mortal wound if you roll a 4+ to wound against vehicles, that’s a 50/50 chance with each shot! If that’s not enough, if you roll a 6  then you inflict D3 mortal wounds!

Tyranid Lictor Tactics

Tyranid Lictors are the sneaky infiltrators of the Tyranid army. They are engineered to work ahead of the main Tyranid army.

Hidden Hunters

Tyranid Lictors have a number of special rules that facilitates the hit and run nature. They can deep strike in to the game table mid game, the usual 9″ away from the enemy, but they do get a re-roll on the charge range when they come on to the table. This gives them an average charge range of 10.5″ and means that they are good assassins.

Choose your target carefully. make sure that it’s one you can take out in one turn. Try to target HQ units that have become separated from their body guards.

If you do survive the initial assault there is a fair chance that your Lictor will be a distance from friendly support so it’s time to run! To help you out the Lictor has a couple of special rules that make it easier to survive retaliation.

Tyranid Zoanthrope Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Zoanthrope BroodZoanthropes have been bio-engineered to be super psykers. They normally go around in groups for protection.

Warp Field

To aid the Zoanthropes survive-ability they get a 3+ invulnerable save. As this is better than their 5+ regular save, even if they are hiding, you will probably be using this save most of the time.

Strength In Numbers

The Zoanthrope brood can have two psychic powers. Smite is one of them, and the other comes from the Tyranid Psychic Powers list. When Zoanthropes manifest psychic powers they manifest one power for the hole brood if there are 1 to 3 of them, and two powers a turn if there are 4 or more in the brood. Zoanthropes come in boxes of three, so units of six will be popular!

Another benefit of larger broods is that Warp Blasts cause an additional D3 Mortal wounds. It does not say is this means that you get D6 wounds, or 2xD3 wounds. Given a choice 2xD3 wounds is better as you will always get 2+

Synapse Creature

Zoanthropes are not great in a fight, however in the WH40k universe their 18″ or 24″ psychic power range is not great. This means that you will want to keep them supported by a body guard of lesser creatures. This is not so hard as Zoanthropes are Synapse creatures too!


Yes, Zoanthropes have the Fly keyword. They are still quite slow, as far as Tyranids go at 5″ a turn!

Tyranid Maleceptor Tactics

If you want a monstrous sized psyker then the Maleceptor is the creature for you! However this psyker needs to in the thick of the action! Apart from it’s psychic powers the Maleceptor only causes damage at close range.

Psyker & Synapse Creature

The main reason for taking a Maleceptor in the army is for it’s psychic powers. It can manifest one power a turn, but it has a +1 to the psychic roll. This means that casting Smite is quite easy and hardly ever fails!

The Maleceptor is a synapse creature that can keep the lesser creature in line within the usual 8″ bubble.

Tyranid Pyrovore Tactics

Pyrovores are short ranged (10″ range) flamer creature. It’s main strength is clearing strongholds of infantry.

Pyrovores have moderate close combat abilities. With 2 attacks the Pyrovore will have hard work if faced with massed troops, The Pyrovores attacks are S5 and AP-3. This means that it will hurt power armoured troops. Aim for Space Marines and Chaos Marines. Even Terminators are viable targets!

Another less obvious skill is to resist an assault. With D6 automatic hitting even in overwatch, the Pyrovore will blunt assaulting units as they charge in. Remember that you only ge5t to overwatch once a turn and then only if you are not in close combat already. So the idea here is to thin out assaulting units before they get to you. You can scare units off, use terrain to funnel units, or just blast away from a distance until there is much in the way of opposition left!

Ok, so this may not be super easy, but if you use your Pyrovore to defend strategic locations then wait for the enemy to come to you!

Pyrovore Abilities

Pyrovores have a bit of a sting in the tail if they are wounded or killed in close combat.there is a chance that the Pyrovore will cause mortal wounds on the assaulting enemy units.

Pyrovores are one of the lesser seen Tyranids. You can still buy Pyrovores from Games Workshop. One advantage of this rarity is that your opponent may not know the Pyrovores abilities giving you an advantage!

Tyranid Haruspex Tactics

The Tyranid Haruspex is a close combat creature through and through. It’s main ‘weapon’ is it’s Ravenousness Maw.

The Haruspex is a close combat creature through and through. However with it’s regeneration ability you want to aim for multiple softer targets. This is because the Haruspex regains a wound for each model eaten, and not each unit. Line up a unit of Imperial Guard and you could recover 3 or 4 wounds an Fight Phase. Remember that this includes the enemies Fight Phase as well as your own!

Tyranid Fast Attack Tactics

Tyranids are generally a close combat army. This means that you usually have to dodge a hail of fire before you can get your claws on the enemy. One way to get around this is to get some fast troops to tie up enemy units while your heavier, slower units catch up!

Tyranid Shrike Tactics

Tyranid Shrikes are Tyranid Warriors with wings. They share the Synapses ability with the Warriors. This means that they can bring order to all the Instinctive Behaviour creatures.

The other main ability that the Shrikes share with the Tyranid Warriors is the access to a wide of weapons. This means that the Shrikes are able to fulfil many roles. Heavy weapons, close fire weapons, and close assault weapons are all available. What’s more like Warriors, Shrikes can carry two weapons. This means that they can be configured to be tactical, ie. able to take on changing roles as needs and opportunities change.

Tyranid Ravener Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Raveners appear from the Abbey ruinsTyranid Raveners are fast and light. They can pop up anywhere on the table (9″ away from the enemy). Raveners are subject to instinctive behaviour, however this is not a major restriction, so they are great at harassing the enemy flanks.

Tyranid Raveners usually come with two set of scything talons, and these are very useful in close combat. You can upgrade one set of scything talons to a deathspitter, devourer, or spinefists. Depending on your style of play you may wish to swap some close combat ability for some shooting ability. Raveners work well either way.

Tyranid Sky-Slasher Swarm Tactics

Tyranid Sky-Slasher Swarms are Ripper Swarms with wings. This gives them the fly keyword. This gives them faster movement at 12“ a turn.

Sky-Slasher Swarms are cheap. This means that you can use them to slow down or distract the enemy from your main assaults.

Tyranid Gargoyle Tactics

Tyranid Gargoyles are in many ways Termagants with wings. This means that they are fairly cheap, carry fleshborers and fight like Imperial Guard (useless).

Gargoyles fly. This means that they can move 12″ in the movement phase and jump over obstacles.

Ability: ‘Hail of Living Ammunition’

Another feature that Gargoyles with Termagants is that they get the ‘Hail of Living Ammunition’ ability. This does give the Gargoyles a boost when shooting.

Tyranid Harpy Tactics

The Tyranid Harpy is a monstrouse flying ground attack creature. Flying up to 30″ a turn at full strength with a minimum move of 10″ a turn, the Harpy can move around the board quickly.

Tyranid Hive Crone Tactics

Where as the Tyranid Harpy is a flying gun platform, the Hive Cron is an aerial close combat beast.

The Crone does have some decent shooting weapons. The Tentacilds have a special rule where it causes mortal wounds against vehicles half the time it hits. This is a help against lighter vehicles, but tougher tanks absorb a lot of mortal wounds. The targets of choice for this weapon are flyers. So shoot, move in close and pull flyers apart with it’s scything wings.

Tyranid Spore Mine and Mucolid Spore Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Sporemines

Tyranid Spore Mines occupy a building.

Spore Mines and Mucolid Spores can be taken as units, but they are usually set up as missed Biovore and Sporocyst shots.

Spore Mine Abilities

As Spore Mines and Mucolid Spores are mostly mindless mines there are a few special rules that dictate how they move and fight. I will deal with these Abilities in reverse order of play. This is because you will need to know what damage they do first in order to know how to deploy them!

Floating Down

Spore Mines bought as units in your army list (ie. not shot out of a Biovore or Sporocyst) can come in to play later in the game. At the end of the movement the unit of mines can be set up  anywhere that is  more than 12″ away from enemy models. This distance means that there is no chance of charging the same turn you arrive. This in turn means that your opponent will have a round of shooting to get rid of the mines before they can do any damage. This really reduces their effectiveness.

Floating Death

When Spore Mines and Mucolid Spores blow up they do a random amount of Mortal Wounds. That’s right, hardly anything can save against a Spore Mine blast. This means that you will want to target those units with high saves, specially those with high invulnerable saves. Also as Mortal Wounds carry across models in a unit, you want to look out for multi-model units. My favourite targets are Space Marine Terminators. Other Terminator armour wearing targets are good pickings too, as are characters with invulnerable saves.  Remember if you are shooting your Spore Mines from Biovores or Sporocysts, you can only target a character if they are the closest target.

When they do blow up, Spore Mines have a 1 in 6 chance of causing no damage, 4 in 6 ( 1 in 3 ) chance of causing 1 Mortal Wound and 1 in 6 chance of causing D3 mortal wounds per Mine. This means that they have an average of 1 in 1 chance to cause 1 Mortal Wounds each, or 3 Mortal Wounds for a unit of 3.

The Mucolid Spore has a 1 in 6 chance of doing no damage, 4 in 6 chance of doing D3 Mortal Wounds and 1 in 6 chance of doing D6 Mortal Wounds. This gives an average of 1.92 mortal wounds per Mucolid Spore.

Living Bombs

Spore Mines and Mucolid Mines are bombs that happen to be floating around the table. To reflect this Spore Mines and Mucolid mines have been given this special rule that means that they can not capture objectives, but also do not create victory points for your opponent if they are destroyed!

Tyranid Heavy Support Tactics

Tyranids have a good range of Heavy Support units to choose from, and do they need them! Tyranids are often seen as close combat specialists. However even close combat troops need some long range supporting fire as your close combat troops get to grips with the enemy!

Be careful not to hope to come out top in a long ranged fire fight. Just about all the enemy forces have better long ranges weapons than the Tyranids do. So again think of Tyranid heavy support as support units rather than game winners in their own right!

Heavy Support units include:

  • Exocrine
  • Tyrannofex
  • Toxicrene
  • Carnifexes, Thornbacks and Screamer-Killers
  • Mawlocs and Trygons





WH40k Genestealer Cults are Back!

Genestealer Cult Acolytes

Yes the original Tyranid army ‘Genetealer Cults’ are back and they are bigger and sneakier than ever.

As the vanguard of the Tyranid collective, Genestealers hide on floating space hulks and stowing away on unsuspecting commercial scavenging space craft. When these salvage ships land on a populated planet the Genestealers slip off the space craft and slip in to the dark recesses of the spaceport. From these dark recesses the Genestealers hypnotize those at the lower edges of society, infecting them with the Genestealer DNA. The of spring of these thralls are the Hybrids that become the core of the insurgent army that will disrupt the defence forces just as the Tyranid main force arrives.

I have added a new Genestealer Cults Tactic page with loads of hints and tips.



Tyranid Genestealer Cults Tactics for WH40k 7th Edition

Warhammer 40k Genestealer Magus Psyker

The Boys are back in town! Tyranid Genestealer Cults are back!

If you know me you may know that I started playing Warhammer 40k with the original Space Hulk boxed game in the mists of history so the re-appearance of Genestealer Cults brings a sense of joy. Anyway, on with the important bit, the Genestealer Cult Tactics!

As always, these notes are written with the expectation that you have access to the Codex: Genestealer Cults book and the main WH40k rules.

What are Genestealer Cults?

Before the Tyranids existed as a WH40k army Games Workshop released a board game based on 40k ( as they do from time to time ) called ‘Space Hulk’. The first variant of Space Hulk had two expansion sets. One called ‘Deathwing’ ( introducing the Dark Angel first company ) and one called ‘ Genestealer ‘ that introduced Genestealer Cults to the 40k universe. Warhammer.Wikia has a detailed page on the history the of Space Hulk game. Over time this army sported off the Tyranid army that has mainly superseded them. Now with a new boxed game ‘Over Kill’ featuring Genestealer Cultists we have a new Genestealer Cults Codex and some new models too!

In Warhammer 40K terms Genestealers Hybrids are part human and part Genestealer. As such they have close combat skills inherited from thier Genestealer parents and ballistic skills inherited from thier human parents.

Genestealer Hybrids go through several generations. With each generation the Hybrids close combat skills become weaker and thier ballistic skill improves.

General Genestealer Cult Tactics

Genestealer-AcolytesBy their nature Genestealer Cult armies are a rag tag army of gutter trash and army deserters. By the time they grow in to a force large enough to conquer planets they get observed in to the Tyranid main force. This means that the Genestealer Cultists are far better at smaller skirmish games than full Apocalypse games.

The Genestealer Cults army has a number of specCult Ambushial rules that help the Cult army in areas with lots of cover. City Fights and Jungle warfare spring to mind. If you have a chance to effect the amount of cover go for as much as possible!

Most of the Genestealer Cult units have the ability to infiltrate and the drop back in to reserves. This means that you have the ability to keep your enemy chasing shadows. The same abilities allow you to ‘steal’ objectives. Popping up to take objectives. then slipping away again. Remember that you do not have to destroy the enemy to win games.

The main weakness in the Genestealer Cult army is lack of air support and anti-aircraft weapons. The best option if you are facing air attacks is to dive for cover and hide! Option 2 is to get some missile wielding Neophytes.  These can be upgraded to have sky-fire missiles. 

Genestealer Cults Special Rules

Genestealer Cults have a number of sneaky special rules. These will help you in built up City Fight scenarios.

Cult Ambush

The Genestealer Cult Codex has a new table that you can use instead of Infiltrating or arriving from reserves in the usual fashion if you wish You do not have to use the new table (p97), you can choose when you return the unit to the table, and you can have some units returning normally and some returning using the new table. Note that if the unit is in a Goliath or Chimera then you have to return using the normal reserves rules.

The benefit of using the standard rules is that they are less open to risk. You know that the unit will be coming in on the left or right table edge and you have a 1 in 3 chance of choosing which edge they come in on too. With the new table there are 6 possibilities. As I have said elsewhere, randomness is the enemy of solid tactics.

So why use the new table? The main reason is that you can arrive much closer to your pray. There is a 2 in 6 chance that you can arrive within 9″ ( easy assault range next turn) and only 1 in 6 chance that you may arrive further away on your table edge. The best of all though is if you roll a 6 then you can return within 3″ of your pray and assault in the same turn. Do this with a large unit of Purestrain Genestealers and you can wipe out whole units before returning to the shadows (see the next special rule)

Return to the Shadows

This sneaky special rule will have your opponents chasing shadows! Not only can the Genestealer Cult units infiltrate in, but they can drop back in to reserves ready to pop up elsewhere on the table later.

To use this rule the unit must have the ‘Return to the Shadows’ special rule, not be in a vehicle and be more than 6″ away from the enemy at the start of the movement phase. This means that you will need to make sure that you are not encircled. When arriving from reserves choose targets that are on the edge of the main force, or better still, stranded from their comrades. Also watch out for traps like enemy units deep-striking behind you! 

Notice that you can not return to the shadows and reappear on the same turn. This would be too much like teleporting! As you return to the shadows in the movement phase you will not get to shoot or assault in that turn. Make sure that you use your units effectively.

Genestealer Cult HQ Tactics

The Codex: Genestealer Cults gives us four HQ options. The first is the Genestealer Patriarch, then there is the Magus. Both of these are familiar from earlier Codexes. In addition there are two new HQ tactics to this codex.

Genestealer Patriarch Tactics

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Genestealer Broodlord and Genestealer Brood

A Tyranid Genestealer Patriarch ( Brood Lord ) and Genestealers

The Genestealer Patriarch is the head of the Genestealer insurgence on a planet. As such there should only be one Patriarch in a game. However if you want to fly in the face of the background story, or if you want to create a new storyline, the rules do let you field a number of Patriarchs in a game. Be warned, there may be an amount of shouts of ‘Cheese!’ from opponents and onlookers!

Genestealer Magus Tactics

Warhammer 40k Genestealer Magus PsykerWith each generation the Genestealers pick the most psychic offspring to mate and create the next generation. By the forth generation a leader with full psychic powers is developed. These are the Genestealer Magus’s. They are the psychics of the Genestealer army. You may note that the Patriarch has limited psychic powers, but the Neophyte and Acolyte psykers are missing from this codex.

Genestealer Primus Tactics

The Genestealer Primus is a new addition to the Genestealer Colt army. As an army General he is cheaper than a Patriarch and a better fighter than the Magus. If you are fighting small games or you need the points elsewhere then the Primus is worth considering.

Genestealer Acolyte Iconward Tactics

The Genestealer Acolyte Iconward is an Acolyte that has proved himself worthy of the honour of carrying the cults Icon. The Iconward has stats comparable with a Space Marine Captain and has access to the Genestealer Sacred Relics if you want to spice your Iconward a bit.

Genestealer Cult Elite Tactics

Elite troops are usually more expensive in points costs than troop units. In a standard formation you are limited to 3 elite units in an army. This is so you have enough space for plenty of troop choices. In a unformed army you can have as many of whichever units you want. However having too many elite units will mean that you will be out numbered during the game. Add elite units to your army list, but I highly recommend not over doing it!

Purestrain Genestealer Tactics

40k-Tyranid-Genestealer-150Purestrain Genestealers are the original Genestealers from the Space Hulk Games. The stats in the Codex Genestealer Cults are different from the Codex Tyranids. If you are playing both army lists in the same game you will have to make sure that the different units can be visually told apart.

Purestrain Genestealers only have a 5+ save. This means that the will be ripped apart by most weapons, and the ones that do give you a save will mean that yo are saving 1 in 3 times. This means that you need to keep out of line of fire as much as possible. Hug all the cover you can. The Cult Genestealers get the Stealth special rule. This will help against most weapons.

One way  to keep out of line of fire is to get to your pray quickly. Genestealers get Infiltrate and the special Genestealer Cult special rule ‘Cult Ambush’ to start closer to the enemy, the Fleet and Move Through Cover rules should help them cover intervening ground.

Warhammer 40k Tyranid Genestealer Broodlord and Genestealer Brood

A Tyranid Genestealer Patriarch ( Brood Lord ) and Genestealers

You can have up to 20 Purestrain Genestealers in a unit. This would be expensive, but add survivability to the unit. Note that a squad of 20 stealers is difficult to hide. Have a play with squad sizes and see what works best for you.

Genestealers do not get a dedicated transport option. This does not mean tat they can not hop in to a passing empty Chimera or Truck. Hitching a ride can be a way of moving around the table faster and giving the Genestealers some much needed protection.

Genestealer Hybrid Metamorphs Tactics

Genestealer Cult Hybrid Metamorphs are a new addition to the Codex Genestealer Cults. The Metamorphs are Genestealer Acolytes with extra biomorph mutations. This does push up the points cost per model by one point. As the biomorphs are close combat based you will need to see how often you get in to assault to see if the upgrades are worth it.

Genestealer Aberrants Tactics

Genestealer Aberrant are new to the 2016 Codex Genestealer Cults too.

Genestealer are beefed up infantry units. Armed with Power Axes and Power Hammers, Aberrants they have the clout to make a dint in the toughest tank or walker. Remember that you have to get close to get the hits in.

Genestealer Cult Troop Tactics

The Genestealer Cult Codex provides a couple of troop choices. One option is a close assault focused option and one is more like a Imperial Guard squad. Both options are cheap which means that you can crate a horde army allowing you to out number the opposition.

Genestealer Acolyte Hybrids Tactics

Genestealer Hybrid NeophytesGenestealer Cult Acolyte Hybrids are second and third generation Genestealers. Second Generation Genestealers are half purestrain and half human. These creatures almost look like purestrain Genestealers but can carry weapons. Third generation hybrids look more human but may have 2 to 4 arms and a purplish tone to their skin.

With their Genestealer heritage Genestealer Acolytes are good close combat units for the points cost. their ballistic skill is 3 ( better that the BS2 that they use to be) so you do have half a chance of hitting with your autopistols, however you may want to upgrade as many Acolytes as possible with hand flamers as these hit automatically and ignore cover!

Acolytes with hand weapons get an extra attack on top of the 2 ( or 3 with Acolyte Leader). If you get the charge bonus you can get 4 ( or 5 ) rendering attacks. This means that you have a good chance of winning an assault even against more armoured foe.

So what are the best tactics for Acolyte Genestealers? As with most of the cult army, choose small units as your targets, sneak up close, wipe out the target if you can, and then run away to fight elsewhere on the battlefield later in the game.

Genestealer Neophyte Hybrids Tactics

WH40k Tyranid Genestealer Brood BrothersNeophyte Hybrids are more human than Genestealer. They have access to a wider range of weapons. The downside is that they have far more human stats. In fact the stat line is so close to an Imperial Guardsman that many use Guard models as Neophytes.

The Genestealer Cult Codex allows very flexible formation for Neophyte units. For example you can have two miner heavy weapons or one Imperial Guard Heavy Weapon. Also you can have two special weapons.

Genestealer Cult Fast Attack Tactics

Most Genestealer Cults are fast because they can disappear one turn and reappear somewhere completely different in the next turn. However this disappearing and reappearing act means that you miss some phases and opportunities to cause havoc. With fast units you can usually get around the table quickly and stay on the table the whole turn.

Think about your tactics before you draw up an army list. The less cover on the table, the more fast and heavy units you will need.

Chimera Tactics

Warhammer 40k Imperial Guard Chimera troop transpoterThe Genestealer Cult army is often joined by renegade Imperial Guard Units. Some of these units bring basic Guard equipment with them. For this reason it is no surprise that the Genestealer Cult army has access to a number of basic Chimera.

Chimera can move units around the table quicker than running and give some protection and offer some fire support too.

As the Genestealer Cult Chimera is like the Imperial Guard one you can deploy all the same tricks. A favourite is the ‘Mobile Pillbox’ where special weapon or heavy weapon squad members can pop the top hatch and fire their weapons on the move.

Armoured Sentinel Squad Tactics

Armoured Sentinels give the Genestealer Cult some much needed heavy weapon support. It does not have the return to the shadows special rule, so you have to be careful that you are not backed in to a corner.

As infantry units in the Genestealer Cult army are very capable at taking on softer infantry targets, I recommend tooling up your Sentinels with Lascannons, Plasma Cannons and Missile Launchers to take out larger, more armoured targets.

Scout Sentinel Squad Tactics

Warhammer 40k Imperial Guard Sentinel SquadronScout Sentinels are like the Armoured Sentinel Squads but with less armour (Douh!). The upside, apart from being 5 points cheaper, is that they gain ‘Scout’ and ‘Move Through Cover’ special rules. I feel that the sneaky nature of these walkers make for a better fit with the nature of the Genestealer Cult army, so they are my preferred choice.

Like the Armoured Sentinels I recommend upgrading the weapons to take on more armoured targets.

Genestealer Cults Goliath Trucks

Out goes the limousine (do you remember them?) and in comes the Goliath Truck as transport for your Genestealers and hybrids.

Genestealer Cult Heavy Support Tactics

Some times you just need big guns! The Genestealer Cults has two heavy support options. The first is the Goliath Rock grinder, the second is the Leman Russ battle tank with a variety of weapons.

Leman Russ Battle Tank Tactics

Warhammer 40k Imperial Guard Leman Russ Battle TankThe Leman Russ Battle tank is a core element of the Imperial Guard army. As such it is no wonder that they are available to renegade units that defect to the Genestealer Cult. The challenge though will be to work big slow noisy behemoth in to the sneaky hit and run tactics.

Goliath Rockgrinder Tactics

In addition to the Goliath Truck the Genestealers get a Heavy Support version with extra heavy weapons and extra grinding dozer blade called the Goliath Rockgrinder.

Genestealer Cult Formations

One thing that we do have with the Genestealer Cult Codex is a good number of formations. Many of these match the boxed sets that Games Workshop sell like the formation found in the Overwatch boxed game.


Tyranid Sporocyst Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

The Tyranid Sporocyst in a new addition to the Warhammer 40000 Tyranid army. Its rules can be found in White Dwarf weekly no. 41. You can download this from the Black Library site ( for £2.49 ) here.

General Tyranid Sporocyst Tactics

The Tyranid Sporocyst’s rules are not well written, leaving some big holes it the rules that you maybe able to exploit, or need to agree house rules with your opponent before battle commences. These rule holes come from the fact that the Tyranid Sporocyst is half Monstrous creature  and half fortification. For example the rule for firing the weaponry is written as if the Sporocyst is a fortification with automated weapons. However the creature is listed as a Heavy Support Monstrous Creature. This means that when the rules say:

“Each weapon on this model automatically fires at the nearest enemy unit within range and line of sight”

We are expecting that each weapon has a different firing arch. However as Monstrous Creature have 360 degree fire arch for all their weapons, so all the weapons  should be shooting at the same target. I highly recommend that you agree with our opponent if the weapons  have a fire arch before you start the game. I suggest that the weapons should have a 180 degree fire arch, but this is up to you. A 360 arch for each weapon will make the creature much more valuable!

Where to place your Tyranid Sporocyst

The Tyranid Sporocyst is immobile. This means that where ever you place the Sporocyst at the begging of the game, that is where it will stay. The Sporocyst does not have the deepstrike special rule ( despite the fluff saying that they are dropped on to the battlefield ), however they do have Infiltrate. This means that you can decide where to place your Tyranid Sporocyst after your opponent has placed his forces on the table. This it turn may give you an idea of his strategy and an idea on how to use the Sporocyst to disrupt these plans. Another bonus is that you can place the Sporocyst outside our deployment area as long as you follow the infiltrate rules. This means that you can use it to contest or provide cover fire for an objective.

The Tyranid Sporocyst also have a psychic resonator that allows Hive Mind creatures nearby ( 6″ ) to extend the reach of their Hive Mind reach by 6″. This means that you will want to place your Sporocyst some where where Hive Mind Creatures will be passing or hanging out for the duration of the game. This usually means placing the Sporocyst as close to the centre of the table as possible.


Tyranid Tyrannocyte Tactics for WH40k 7th Ed

At last! The Tyranids have some kind of transport, or in this case a Drop-pod option. This gives the Tyranids a chance to get up the gaming table quickly!

General Tyannocyte Tactics

Tyrannocyte are like Drop-Pods. They come in using the Deep Strike rules, but the scatter distance is reduced to ensure that they land safely, like the Space Marine Drop Pod does. This means that you will not have to roll against the Deep-Strike mishap table. Be aware though that scattering may land you i a space where your brood or Monstrous Creature can not disembark. If you land in a confined area your cargo may be destroyed on arrival! So Tactic One – Choose your landing zone carefully!

Once the Tyranid Tyrannocyte has landed and unloaded it’s cargo it’s usefulness does not stop there. Armed with 5 Tyranid shooting weapons the Tyrannocyte can move around firing at any enemy units it can sence. The firing of the weapons is not totally under your control as the Tyrannocyte uses a special ‘instinctive fire’ rule that it shares with the Tyranid Sporecyst creature.

What is the best Tyranid for the Tyrannocyte to carry?

This does depend on the mission, the terrain,and enemy that you are facing. So the more you can find out about an up coming game before you create your army list the better. Option two is to creat several army lists each one covering a different game possibility and pull out the best army list at the last moment.

The next point to consider when selecting what creature or brood to drop in is that when the Monstrous Creature or brood disembarks they will be able to shoot or run, but not move or assault.

Tyrannocyte and S10 Weapons

Most Tyranid Monstrous creatures are Toughness 6 so that Strength 10 weapons will not kill them, however this is not the case for the Tyrannocyte. This means that you will be advised to look out for Demolisher and Earth Shaker cannons. There are other S10 weapons, but as these two are  large blast markers and the Tyrannocyte is a large target and difficult to miss. So beware!